This release is courtesy of WPI and Wellesley Sports Information.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The WPI women's rowing program finished second overall followed by a third place finish from the Wellesley rowing team at the 2019 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships on Saturday at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park.
Bates won both races to bring home its third straight national championship. WPI took second in both the Varsity 8 (V8+) and Second Varsity 8+ (2V8+) Grand Finals to finish second overall.
The second place team finish represents the best-ever by a team at a national championship in the over 125 year history of WPI varsity athletics.
Both WPI boats boasted the best second 500 meter times on Saturday to move into and then hold onto second place. The varsity eight went 1:50.140 over the second 500 meters, a fraction of a second better than Bates (1:50.23) and hit the finish line in a time of 7:06.932. Bates won the race in a time of 7:01.012 while Wellesley crossed the line in 7:09.117. Ithaca (7:09.566) was fourth followed by Wesleyan (7:20.699) and Hamilton (7:23.059). Washington College (7:23.393) edged Pacific Lutheran (7:24.940) to win the petite final.
In the first grand final of the day, the second varsity eight rowed a blazing 1:50.920 second 500 meters (over 2.5 seconds faster than Bates) and then held off a furious charge from Wellesley to reach the finish line in 7:25.342, just ahead of the Blue (7:26.996). Bates won the race in a time of 7:18.854 while Wesleyan (7:32.650) outlasted Hamilton (7:33.211). Pacific Lutheran (7:44.005) was sixth and Ithaca (7:44.432) was victorious over Washington College (7:47.155) in the petite final.
The Blue took third in both the Varsity 8 (V8+) and the Second Varsity 8+ (2V8+) Grand Finals to finish third in the team standings with 46 points.
Wellesley has now finished in the top-four in every NCAA Division III Championship since 2011 and in the top-three in each of the last five years.
The Wellesley Varsity 8 (V8+) finished third, holding off a late surge from Ithaca College to win the bronze. Bates College (07:01.012) had the lead from wire-to-wire to capture the victory in the V8+ final and win the national championship for the third year in a row and the fourth time in the last five years. The Blue V8+ had a slight advantage over New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival WPI at the 500m mark, but the Engineers moved past Wellesley through the middle 1000m to take second (07:06.932). Wellesley finished in 07:09.117, with Ithaca just back in fourth (07:09.566).
After securing a spot in the Grand Final with a victory in Friday evening's repechage, the Blue Second Varsity Eight (2V8+) jumped up into the top three during Saturday's final. The top-three in the 2V8+ Grand Final matched the top-three in the V8+ Grand Final. Bates took first (07:18.854), with WPI (07:25.342) in second and Wellesley in third (07:26.996). The top-three in the field were well ahead of fourth place Wesleyan (07:32.650).
For more on the NCAA Championships, log-on to NCAA.com.